See all the ads below
1) Holiday Inn – Whale Song (2006)
Featured in a series of spots for the Holiday Inn entitled “Business Guys” was this advert starring American comedian Jerry Lambert, who plays a businessman who gets maybe a little too comfortable in his hotel room’s comfortable workspace.
2) Bud Light – Mr Really, Really, Really Bad Dancer (2003)
Alcohol giant Anheuser Busch really knows how to make a good advert. This ad campaign, entitled “Real Men of Genius”, was dedicated to the unsung heroes that help make the world go round – no, not police officers or soldiers, but people like Mr Really, Really, Really Bad Dancer. With melodramatic narration, over-the-top backing vocals and really, really bad dancing, it’s hard not to laugh at this mock-tribute.
3) Budweiser – Wassup? (1999)
Another video from alcohol giant, Anheuser Busch, this ad took a simple word and turned it into a huge pop culture catchphrase. Written, directed and starring Charles Stone III, this advertisement took home the Cannes Grand Prix award in 2000 and was inducted into the Clio Hall of Fame in 2006. You still can’t escape the word – since the ad came out, it has become a popular international catchphrase, even in places where the drink isn’t even sold and has been parodied in a number of Hollywood blockbusters.
4) Wendy’s – Where’s the Beef? (1984)
The catchphrase that took over the world in the late 80s started in this advert for American fast food joint Wendy’s. In the ad, little old ladies are discussing the burger bun of a competitor. It’s the perfect balance between adorable old people and suggestive language that made this spot legendary and spurned a cultural movement. It was so popular that in 2011, Wendy’s revived the catchphrase for its new ad campaign, answering the question with “Here’s the beef.”
5) John West Salmon – Bear (2000)
What starts out as a seemingly harmless nature documentary takes a turn for the weird when a John West fisherman running into frame and attacking a bear for the salmon it just caught. The commercial for John West Salmon combines everyone’s favorite things – animals and kicks to the crotch – to create comic perfection. This famous ad by advertising conglomerate Leo Burnett was so popular that it became one of the internet’s first viral hits. In 2006 alone, the video had amassed 300 million views and took home the award award for the BTAA Commercial of the Year in 2001.
6) Cadbury – Gorilla (2007)
The oddity of this advert is what makes it memorable. The ad campaign by Cadbury was an attempt by the chocolate company to create a viral video sensation – and it worked. Since then, the drumming gorilla advert has gone on to appear in a number of different countries, including Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Created by Fallon ad agency, this advert reinvigorated the traditional brand, giving it a fresh new outlook and a new audience. Plus, who doesn’t love jamming out to Phil Collins?
7) Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)
Honestly, I could fill this entire list with different adverts from this Old Spice viral video campaign. It’s outrageousness is what makes it great. In thirty seconds, Isaiah Mustafa went from being a bloke in a towel to “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and a bonafide internet sensation. From this ad, Old Spice not only changed the rules for social media marketing but also amassed a huge number of awards, including the film Grand Prix at Cannes and an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial.
8) Hamlet – Photo Booth (1986)
Gregor Fisher stars in this famous ad for Hamlet cigars. In this advert, Fisher (as his former TV personality, Baldy Man) is waiting for his picture to be taken in a photo booth.. Bad luck strikes him thrice as the photo booth takes his photo without him being ready. The brilliance and humour of this ad is in its simplicity. No words are spoken in this minute-long ad, yet it is still remembered today as a classic. In fact, it won ‘Ad of the Century’ by a special jury at Cannes in 1997.
9) Reebok Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (2003)
Topping the list is an advert from the 2003 Superbowl. We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it’s hilarious” and this commercial is living proof. In this Reebok advert, NFL linebacker Terry Tate (Lester Speight) is hired by a drab office to tackle workers when they mess up as an attempt to raise office productivity. Filled will physical comedy and brilliant one-liners, this commercial takes the cake as the funniest advert on our list.
10) Zazoo Condoms – Kids are a Pain
We’ve all been in the presence of some child throwing a tantrum over something that really isn’t all too important. Admit it, we were once the kid throwing the tantrum. And that’s why this banned advert from France is so perfect – because we can all relate one way or another. The message could use a bit more subtlety, but its humour is spot on.